Papa Tan's First Guest Post! - Giving the best for my kids

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Erm, hello everyone? It's kind of weird to be writing a blog entry on my wife's blog because, to be honest, I don't even read what she writes most of the time. I usually just look at the photo she posts... and besides, I think I don't write as well as she does?

Also, I don't even write. I think the last time I wrote an essay was in University and that was a good five years ago.

It's ok anyway, this post may be heavily edited by the editor. I was given the task to take over the blog at 8.30PM on a Sunday. We just reached home from viewing lanterns at Gardens By The Bay and she insisted me to share my views on parenting.

So, here we go.

I knew parenting was going to be a different ballgame as compared to dating my wife and becoming husband and wife. When Jacq went through a 40-hour labour to bring Dylan into the world, it dawned on me that while I don't need them to be the best, I want to give them my best.

Dylan is three years old this year and some of our friends have already been sending their children to all sorts of enrichment classes. We did play with the thought of sending him for Speech & Drama because he has no sense of stage fright and he enjoys singing and dancing very much.

You see his pattern is more than badminton

But after much considerations, we didn't sign up for the class.

I was not sure if we were being too ambitious? Are we beginning to be like those kiasu parents we always hear about, those who would pack their children's schedule from 9am to 6pm, every single day? Are we robbing him of his childhood? Shouldn't he be spending the time playing at playgrounds instead of attending classes?

Talking about giving the best to my kids, this is where Jacq and I were in a dilemma because we don't know if sending him for more classes is doing him good, or NOT sending him classes is better.

Sometimes, it's really not that we don't want to give them the best... it is really difficult to make a decision.

I grew up in a family where we had a lot of fun when we were young. We hung out with our cousins, we would go Fantasy Island (remember? That huge waterpark in Sentosa?) on school holidays.. and on usual days, I would always be at the playground downstairs, cycling around the neighbourhood and playing catching.

My wife had an entirely different childhood from me. She grew up learning to play the piano, she could use an abacus, even though I think her Maths is still questionable, but who else can use an abacus these days?

She went for Speech and Drama classes, which resulted in her being an emcee and earning additional income to supplement our family. She had a lot of tuition classes, which is why she can edit this post so that I don't sound too embarrassing with my English.

We were at the opposite spectrum as a child but one thing we have to admit is that we both turned out fine. I am not spectacular, but neither is she. (Sorry honey haha) She actually didn't know where to catch spiders after her 5 Young Scientist Badges she got in Primary School... I cannot believe it.

But it is also exactly because both of us didn't end up as Ministers, we were not sure which way is the right way to go.

Jacq thinks that going to enrichment classes is definitely going to help Dylan in the long run, to nurture his interests and to groom him.

According to her, all children are like little seeds. Most of them have sunlight and water, but a good gardener will give his plants fertilisers... and these enrichment classes are considered as "fertilisers". If given in good amount, will help our children to bloom.

Whereas for me, I think all of you know where I stand. I hope that our children will have a great, memorable childhood. Not one that is filled with extra curriculum and homework and things that he doesn't like.

What about you? Do you think a child needs enrichment classes, or do they learn as they go along in life? Do you think Dylan should go for enrichment classes as "fertilisers" for his soul?

You can join Jacq at this discussion thread on her Facebook:

Just wondering: is it necessary for children to go for extra curriculum classes, like phonics, reading, speech & drama,...
Posted by Jacqualine Chan on Monday, 28 September 2015
We are also very thankful for these mummies who share with us their opinions on enrichment classes. It does seem that we are quite split in between and have equal support in two different camps.


I have been assigned to write this post as a collaboration with Nestle to provide another perspective of parenting because Jacq says that everything also she say one very boring. Please visit Nestle Baby Club Singapore Facebook Page for parenting tips and giveaways! I love giveaways. I always ask my wife to join them. The chances of them winning is so high most of the time, you know that right?

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  1. So nice that your husband write a guest post!

  2. It's hard as a parent not to get carried away with all the 'fun' classes that are available in Singapore, I think.

  3. Nice Write Up! I love your perspective of enrichment classes. I don't think I can ever get my Hubby to write a post as he always say that he cannot write essays. :) Maybe I can outsource it to my boy instead. :D

  4. It's great that you're taking the time to share your views on the blog too Papa Tan! Welcome to blogging and write more often!! :P

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  5. When I read your first sentence this is what my hubby also says- I only look at the photos you took and rest you tell me before writing so no need to read the blog.

  6. It's refreshing to read a daddy's writing. I think in everything, balance is the key. If the enrichment activities and classes help to motivate or stimulate the child's passion, creativity or even develop their motor skills (eg baby gym classes), why not? Enrichment classes need not be academic in nature. However if your child shows unwillingness to attend the class after trial then don't force him. Parents will know instinctively...

  7. Well said Papa Tan! I think we just have to find a balance as parents. Make sure they have time for fun but also there's no harm exploring different classes including gym, swimming, music other than academics. Reading is impt so it's impt to know phonics. If u can achieve that at home through creative home schooling, then I suppose that's one less class to think about.

    Cheers! and happy parenting! We are all learning what matters most is we love them to bits.

    ~ Audrey @ SAys! Happy Mums


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